tyndall impact from excellence

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  • Impact from ExcellenceOverview

  • 1

  • About UsTyndall National Institute is a leading European research centre in integrated ICT (Information and Communications Technology) hardware and systems.

    Specialising in both electronics and photonics materials, devices, circuits and systems we are globally leading in our core research areas of:

    Smart Sensors and Systems Optical Communication Systems Mixed Signal and Analog Circuit Design Microelectronic and Photonic integration Semiconductor Wafer Fabrication Nano Materials and Device Processing

    Central to our mission is delivering economic impact through research excellence. We work with industry and academia to transform research into products in our core market areas of electronics, communications, energy, health, agri-food and the environment. We generate approximately 30m in income each year, with over 85% coming from competitively won contracts.

    With a network of over 200 industry partners and customers worldwide, we are focused on delivering real impact from our excellent research. Our ambitious 5-year strategic plan, developed in 2013, sets out a clear strategy to create employment and build critical mass within the Irish technology space.

    As the national institute for photonics and micro/nanoelectronics and a research flagship of UCC, the institute employs over 460 researchers, engineers and support staff, with a cohort of 120 full-time graduate students. Together we generate over 230 peer-reviewed publications each year.

    Our institute hosts the only full Silicon CMOS, Micro-Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and III-V Semiconductor Wafer fabrication facilities and services in Ireland. We are experts at designing, miniaturising and prototyping products to drive connectivity.

    At Tyndall, we deliver research and innovation in Europe with local and global impact. We have won 22 projects under the Horizon 2020 calls so far and co-ordinate 4 of them. These successes are worth almost 11.4m to Tyndall with an additional 6.6 million going to other Irish research partners, including 3.8m to industry partners.

    We are the lead institution for the Science Foundation Ireland funded Irish Photonics Integration Centre (IPIC) and host to industry aligned research centres; Microelectronic Circuits Centre Ireland (MCCI); International Energy Research Centre (IERC); Collaborative Centre for Applied Nanotechnology (CCAN) and The Centre for Future Networks and Communications (CONNECT).


  • Research Excellence


  • ELECTRONICS Electronics is the manipulation of electrical charges. Electronics are everywhere, from mobile phones and industrial equipment to sensors monitoring patient health in hospital wards. Continuous improvements in these products over the last 50 years have transformed society as we know it. Future progress, especially for next-generation smart mobile devices and sensor networks, requires new materials, energy generation and storage solutions as well as ultra-low power devices and circuits.

    The Micro & Nano Electronic Systems Centre at Tyndall has unique capabilities to meet these 21st Century demands for high-performance, energy-efficient electronics products in ICT, communications, healthcare, agriculture, food and the environment. Our atoms to systems expertise includes:




    Smart SystemIntegration

    Atomistic Modelling & Simulation Agile Wafer-Scale Fabrication & Processing Bottom-up Synthesis & Processing

    Sensors Energy Storage Energy Harvesting Actuators Switches Memory Devices Emerging Device Design

    Data Converters Ultra Wideband Radar RF Circuit Design Mixed Signal Electronics

    Wireless Sensor Networks Autonomous Sensor Systems Application-Specific Packaging Power-Supply-On-Chip



    Photonics is the generation, manipulation and utilisation of light. It is everywhere around us: from communications & health, lighting & photovoltaics to everyday products like mobile phones. Photonics is one of the key enabling technologies that underpins the internet and over the next decade will make a significant impact to our everyday lives transforming industries and improving societies across the globe.

    The Photonics Centre at Tyndall is driving new advances in photonic science including the fundamentals of light emission and detection processes in nano- and micro-photonic materials and devices. We have key photonics capabilities from atoms to systems, including: (See fig. 1)

    Photonic integration is one of the key research themes for the centre. Similar to the development of electronic integrated circuits some fifty years ago, the aim is to enable much higher levels of functionality whilst simultaneously reducing the cost and size of devices.

    The main vehicle for this programme is the Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) funded Irish Photonic Integration Centre (IPIC). Headquartered

    in Tyndall, IPIC brings together Irish research expertise in photonics and biomedical science along with 20 industrial partners to develop technological solutions via photonic integration. IPIC represents a combined SFI and industry investment of some 24m in Irish photonics research over the period 2013-2019.


  • Basic Phenomena

    Photonics TheoryElectronic structure and properties, III-V materials & devices

    Quantum InformationSingle photon sources, quantum key distribution systems


    III-V & III-Nitride MaterialsSemiconductor optoelectronic device structures, quantum well, wires, dots & nanostructured epitaxy


    Device FabricationNovel photonics structures visible, near-IR & UV lasers, (micro)LEDs, modulators & detectors

    Device Design & TestOptical design to device dynamics, laser physics, power scaling, ultrafast pulses

    Driver and Receiver Integrated Circuits


    Photonic IntegrationHigh-speed integrated optoelectronic transceivers

    PackagingPackaging & hybrid integration

    Silicon PhontonicsMicro-transfer printing, integrated electronic and photonic circuits


    Optoelectronic SystemsOptical fibre communications & optical interconnects

    Biophotonic SystemsPoint of care diagnostics, smart surgical instruments & wearable devices

    Figure 1. 6


    Electronics and photonics underpin the information systems that impact every facet of our lives. Access to information anytime, anywhere wouldnt be possible without the intelligence, visual interfaces and communication technologies that underpin our smart phones, computers and indeed the global internet that connects us all together. These technologies depend on the availability of low power, low cost electronics and photonics for their operation.

    To continue this data revolution, we are exploring new approaches to electronic and photonic materials, manufacturing, components and systems including: The exploration of alternative semiconductor materials to complement

    traditional silicon transistors for future technology Design of manufacturing techniques to grow materials atomic layer by atomic

    layer, for nanoscale electronic devices and coatings, and processing light emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers with wavelengths spanning from the UV to the infrared

    The development and integration of novel devices into circuits that can sense chemicals and gases, measure heat and radiation, and harvest energy as required by new embedded-in-smart-system applications

    Exploiting material properties that arise due to novel effects on nanometre length scales to create new, lower cost, lower power, increased functionality switches and wires that enable increased mobility and interconnectivity of the physical layer for the Internet of Things

    New systems that allow optical data to be transmitted directly to the consumer (fibre-to-the-home) in highly energy-efficient ways and new techniques to increase internet capacity through using multiple colours of light together to send information over a single optical fibre with minimal interference


    Integrating ICT into the systems and equipment in our home, workplace and outdoor environment offers an enormous opportunity to reduce energy consumption and deliver smarter and greener solutions.

    Energy harvesting and storage technologies will enable us to deploy self-powered wireless sensors. These sensors will be used to optimise energy usage in buildings and to interact with the smart grid to minimise load peaks and maximise renewable energy usage. Wireless sensors can also be used for conditional monitoring of equipment to determine when operating anomalies or performance degradation occurs, ensuring efficient and reliable operation of infrastructure in manufacturing equipment.

    Miniaturisation technologies, such as Power-Supply-on-Chip and thin film magnetics on silicon, enable us to design smaller and more efficient high frequency power supplies for a broad range of applications, from smart phones and tablets to microprocessors in servers and radio base stations and thereby increase battery life.

    We are working on next generation energy solutions including: 3D power electronic packaging based on PCB embedded magnetics Micro-generation and storage technologies to power

    wireless sensor networks for the smart grid Simulation tools to assess the feasibility of energy harvesting in

    powering wireless sensor network nodes in commercial buildings. Discrete soft magnetic thin film cores for offline power

    applications for commercial validation Novel integrated magnetic thin films for digital isolation applications